MAD Quilt

This last week has been all about Dave and the above quilting gallery aside, which is really about Anne, we decided that we needed to show Dan some love. To that purpose, we made a Facetime call to Dan and Brit. A lot of the conversation revolved around work. Dan’s union had threatened to strike this week, but the strike was averted by a last-minute agreement. According to Dan though, there is quite a bit of grumbling about the agreement within the rank-and-file and the agreement might get voted down. In order to avoid the uncomfortable situation of having to cross a possible picket line, Dan took a non-union job for a few weeks. Unsolicited, Dan landed this job from his former Macy’s Christmas windows work. This job also has to do with in-store displays, but has nothing to do Macy’s. He learned that the company who he had worked for suddenly and unexpectedly lost the contract for the Macy’s gig. This job is in Long Island City, a part of Queens. Dan has taken to riding his bicycle there, in order to save on parking. Brit is currently deciding between two job offers and hopes to pick the best one. They are both able to devote more time to working outside the house now that they have settled into their new apartment and have finished their big projects, a new bed and the chuppah. Speaking of the chuppah, they plan on selling it, maybe in their old neighborhood in Crown Heights. 

Between biking to work and working eleven-hour days, Dan was pretty tired this weekend. On Friday, they ended up watching the new movie Dune, over at Brit’s parent’s house in Queens, but they didn’t start watching this two-hour plus movie until after ten. I’m not sure if Dan was awake through the entire feature. This part of the conversation segued into a discussion of her parents two dogs. They have an older and crafty small dog and a younger, but highly excitable young dog. During dinner the older dog likes to go to the front door and start barking at nothing. This behavior triggers the younger and bigger dog to go crazy at the front door. The family is forced to intervene, go to the front door and settle the animals down. While they are doing this the older dog sneaks back to the table and proceeds to climb up on a chair and begin eating off of someone’s plate. They’re on to this trick now and watch that tricky dog carefully.

Presentation of the MAD Quilt

Presentation of the MAD Quilt

Pictured is Anne presenting the MAD quilt to Maren and David. This scene occurred at the brunch on the morning after the wedding. Anne had finished the quilt only 24 hours earlier, on the morning of the wedding. There is no minute like the last minute. This quilt is the largest one that Anne has ever made and required many hours of work to complete. It turned out beautifully and Anne should be very proud of herself.

Falling Into Fall

STL Emblems Throughout History

Red October has arrived! The Saint Louis Cardinals postseason playoffs begin today. Having snagged a wildcard berth the Redbirds must endure the single elimination Wildcard session to advance. Today, the Cards face the Dodgers in LA. The winner of tonight’s game will go on to play in the divisional playoff series. I hope that Saint Louis is victorious, otherwise it will be a very short post season this year.

Meanwhile back on the ranch, cooler weather has ushered in more of a Fall-like feel. We’ve turned off the AC, at least for a while and opened some of the windows. After we went to bed last night, through the relative stillness of the night, we both heard the short chirp of a police siren, probably pulling over someone. I joked to Anne that the cops were coming for her, because (wait for it) she sewed a crooked seam. She has been working hot and heavy on the MAD quilt, for which she only has a week left to work on it. Last week she had assembled and quilted all sixteen approximately 24” square block sandwiches. Because of the quilt design that she has selected these were only open-faced sandwiches, there was no backs on them. As of today, she has combined those sixteen smaller blocks into four mega-blocks that now also have the back applied. Her next step will be to combine all of the blocks into one king sized. The steps after that will be to first fashion and then attach a border. I’m sure that there is a myriad of other steps, but I am not privy to all of that. If only she would speak to me about her quilting. If only …

Liking This

David and Maren’s Wedding Quilt

Pictured is the Alfresco wedding quilt that Anne is making for Dave and Maren. When taken, she had cut out and sewn together all 64 of its individual blocks. Now she is about halfway through the process of sewing groups of four blocks into 16 bigger blocks. As pictured though they were just laid out on the upstairs carpet. The magenta Post-Its are not part of the quilt. In tandem to assembling the bigger blocks she is also planning how she will quilt the quilt, which will be her next step. Think outlining and echoing. To this end, she appealed to a Facebook quilting group that she belongs to and asked for some crowdsourced advice. The response was overwhelming. In a matter of a few days, she got over a thousand likes and several hundred comments. Most of the comments were messages of appreciation and support, but there was also some good advice given. You can see her feet at the bottom of the photo. A lot of people on Facebook thought that she was standing in a dog’s bed, but it is actually an old ottoman. 

The Happy Homemaker

The Happy Homemaker

Anne began clutching her pearls after she posed for this photo and realized that she wasn’t actually wearing her pearls in it. What kind of homemaker must she look like, doing her ironing, without her pearls on? The idea for this picture began as a way to show off her new ironing board extension. She built it and I helped. I was doubtful about the idea of it, but she made it happen.

Chris, our friend from Rochester, arrived by train last night. Frankly, I was amazed that his train showed up on time. We picked him up downtown at the train station and whisked off to his hotel, near our house. After he checked in, we went out for dinner at our local Greek place, the Olympia. Today, first thing, we met him at a nearby Starbucks. Then we all walked together in Tower Grove Park, which was one of Chris’s old haunts. Signs of last week’s big storm were still quite evident. After our stroll, we decamped back to Chris’s hotel, so that he could change rooms. We had lunch at also nearby Mai Lee, a Vietnamese restaurant that we like. After lunch we toured the Slammer, admired the Moroccan doors that he had restored and then toured the new Nubian exhibit. Well, maybe new isn’t the right word, since most of the artworks were thousands of years old. I’ll be fixing dinner tonight, so we’ll be staying in air conditioned shelter for the evening. It’s July. It’s Saint Louis and it’s hot, hot, hot!

Cabin Quilt Complete

Happy Father’s Day! The shoemaker’s son finally has a new pair of shoes or rather we finally have one of Anne’s quilts on our bed. She has made many quilts over the years and this is certainly her best. So, I guess that it was worth the wait. Anne began this quilt years ago. For many years it lived at the cabin and she would only work on it in the summer, when she was up there. She called it her quilt in a box. That part of the quilt are the six colorful squares in the center of the quilt. Eventually, she brought the box back to Saint Louis. This year she began putting it all together. In-between bouts of being hunched over a hot sewing machine for hours, she would would go to YouTube U to learn new quilting techniques, to perform free motion quilting. I’ve included a couple of closeups, so you see the artistry that she put into her work. One shows the cabin and the other shows the lake view from the cabin. The following is the dedication that she wrote for this quilt:

IMPROV — The Cabin Quilt
— ~ —
Quilt in a box, Quilt outside the box!
Finished (Finally), For Father’s Day 2021

For Mark,

Thanks for all of your love, support and occasional prodding!

Love you Babes!

— AAR —

Now that she has finished this masterpiece, she has already begun working an even grander project, a quilt that will become a wedding gift for Maren and David. Our bed is only a double, but theirs is a king. So, by size alone it will be a bigger project, but she has made so many strides with the Cabin Quilt that the MaD quilt will benefit from her new experience. She calls it the MaD quilt now, but as its October deadline looms, it could soon become the DaM quilt.